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Trump to grant troops authority to protect border personnel from violence: report
President Trump is expected to give U.S. service members stationed on the southern border the authority to protect Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel if they are attacked by migrants crossing into the country, CNN reported Monday, citing three U.S. officials.
Currently, the troops at the border don't have the authority to intervene if CBP personnel were to be attacked, CNN noted. The directive from Trump, which reportedly could be announced as soon as Monday night, will stipulate that any use of force by the troops must be "proportional."
Thousands of service members were deployed to the border earlier this month at the request of Trump, who has claimed that migrants fleeing violence in Central America and moving toward the border present a national security threat to the U.S.
The move from Trump to grant troops the ability to protect CBP personnel would come as thousands of migrants in recent days reached the border city of Tijuana, Mexico.
Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman Katie Waldman told CNN that the agency "will not allow our frontline personnel to be in harm's way."
"We will do everything we can to protect those who defend our nation's sovereignty and secure our border. We appreciate the Department of Defense stepping in to assist the Department of Homeland Security as needed," Waldman added.
Politico reported Monday that the Pentagon is planning to withdrawal troops from the border as soon as this week.